"Where are you taking me?" Irene demanded, walking quickly to keep up. She nearly choked on the smoke. They'd set fire to every building. "What are you doing?"
"You have a lot of questions, wife. I don't trust those ogres not to ruin you. I'm taking you back now. They'll be along with your women, the ones they don't kill." He was so cold, so matter of fact.
"What makes you think I'll go with you?" She was tossed in the direction of a boat but didn't climb in. He picked her up and dropped in the center, pushing the boat off the shore.
"I don't think I'll give you a choice." He climbed in and sat between a pair of oars, starting the vessel in motion. Once they were out of sight of her burning village, he stopped rowing. "Now, if you want to talk, we can talk. I am Christian."
"I'll bet you are," she spat. Those damned Christians and their male God. Didn't they know the earth was female? They would pay when her patience ended.
"That is my name," he explained. "I am a believer of Christ as well, as you will be."
She spat into the lake. "Never."
Her chin was seized in his hand. He was nothing like Owen, slender, wiry, hairless. His beard was so fine and light as to be non-existent. "You will do as I say, wife, or you will pay in pain. Now, what is your name?"
"Irene," she said through clenched teeth. "You can hurt me all you like, you will not break me."
"We'll see. As to your other questions. I am taking you to my father. He has always been fond of fiery women. He will applaud my choice."
It was too close to what Owen had wanted, a wife to impress his father. Her eyes lost focus, remembering the only time she'd met her father-in-law. He had adored her, congratulated Owen and wished them eternal happiness. An eternity had proven impossibly short. How could Owen be dead? How could this be happening? Her mind screamed with denial.
"No!" she shouted, throwing herself over the side of the boat.
Christian cursed, but Irene fought the heavy tunic and swam toward the shore. She couldn't let him have her. She couldn't give up on Owen.
Screaming, she was pulled by her hair. A hand swept into the water beneath her and she was dropped again into the boat. Christian yanked on her hair again, lifting her by it to put her on the seat.
He didn't say anything else and Irene huddled in on herself, pulling her legs up under the tunic to clutch her knees. She shivered, the chill water getting cold as the sun set. Rocking back and forth, she told herself it wasn't true, she wasn't alone, and she would kill them all.
"Kill them all," she murmured as everything went black.
She woke wrapped in arms and thought of Owen. When she touched one, though, it wasn't hairy and not nearly thick enough. She struck out and pushed away.
Christian squeezed her tightly, pressing his erection into the back of her legs. "Unless you want me to hurt you again, you'll lie still."
"Don't. Don't do that." She hated how her voice trembled, how scared she sounded.
"As long as you lie still."
She bit her cheek, savouring the sickness resulting from the blood in her mouth and ignored the cage that held her.
"See. We can find a middle," Christian claimed, releasing his hold enough to stroke her hair.
She wept quietly. No idea what shore she was on, no idea if any of her people still lived, she was utterly alone.
"Owen," she whimpered.
"Your husband?" Christian asked. "I wonder which one he was. I hope I killed him." His lips came to her neck and she threw her head back, cracking into his face.
He gripped her breast in a painful pinch. She screamed out. Then he bent her over, prodding with his prick. "I warned you," he said.
Her whimpers dissolved, the fire in her belly hardening. Her hate was being tempered with each slight, each pain, each reminder of what she'd lost. "Kill you all," she said quietly, lost in Christian's grunts.
This is just one Saturday AfterDark moment. Find the others on the blog.